UPDATED: Loaded semi takes out 150 feet of guardrail on I-15 before overturning, sliding down embankment

Wet conditions and crashes slow traffic along Interstate 15 after a lane closure near mile marker 13 after a storm sweeps through Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2016 | File photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Interstate 15 was reduced to a single lane just north of Leeds for nearly five hours after a loaded semitractor-trailer overturned and slid down an embankment during heavy rains Wednesday afternoon.

Semitractor-trailer overturns and slides down embankment off of Interstate 15 near mile marker 29, Washington County, Utah, Dec, 4, 2019 | Submitted photo, St. George News

Shortly before 4 p.m., officers and emergency personnel responded to a rollover on southbound I-15 near mile marker 29 just north of Leeds involving a semitractor-trailer that went off the roadway, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Joe Pastor told St. George News Thursday.

The semi was hauling a load of fencing materials when the crash took place.

Troopers arrived to find the semi down an embankment to the right of the roadway. The 44-year-old driver from Illinois was reportedly uninjured in the crash.

At the time of the rollover, the semi was heading south in the outside lane of the interstate, which was wet from heavy rains, and was traveling “too fast for the existing conditions,” Pastor said.

The driver lost control of the truck which went skidding to the left toward the median where it struck the guardrail, sending the truck back to the right across both lanes of travel. The semi crashed into another guardrail and continued along the right shoulder before overturning, landing on the passenger’s side and then sliding down the embankment.

“The truck took out about 150 feet of guardrail in the process,” Pastor said.

The outside lane was closed for nearly five hours to allow responders to tend to the scene. Responders used two heavy wreckers to pull the semi upright before removing it from the scene. The lane was reopened for traffic sometime after 8 p.m.

No citations have been issued at this point, Pastor said, as the incident remains under investigation.

Updated — Dec. 6 at 4:20 p.m., with photos.  

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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